tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC November 14, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PST
remember the big branch mind disaster? that is now being treated not as a mine accident, but essentially as a criminal act by the boss of that mine. that ceo is the most visible face of the coal industry in this country. today, he was criminally indicted, essentially for the death of those 29 men. and he will be facing decades in prison if he can convicted. we're going to have more on that story coming up. also, 300 million miles from here, some news today about human kind having pulled off the amazing achievemented of landing a spacecraft on a speeding comet. as we reported on last night's show, one of the concerns about that mission is that there's not very much gravity on the come et. it's only about 1/10,000th of the comet would be at risk of floating away, basically not being able to stick to the comet
once it landed there. well, we talked about that last night on the show. the problem of the comet lander floating away? in fact, has happened now twice in the past 24 hours. the little landing craft can't stick. it just floated away for a while into space before eventually coming back down on the comet today. the problem now is that it has come back down on a place that is shady, a place that is shielding its solar panels from the sun. so at risk of running out of energy and dying on the comet unless it can get to a sunny spot. the question now is whether they're going to be able to shove it off into space again on purpose. and hope that the next time it comes down on the comet, it comes down in a sunnier place. but triumph yesterday became a real drama as to whether it's going to be able to live now that it's there? there's space drama today, the political drama today was this
unbelievable story, literally unbelievable. i thought that this story, i kid you not, i thought that it was satire when i first saw the headline. i'm feeling very superior about all the people who fell for this obvious satire. that could not possibly be a true thing. it's a true thing. the governor of arkansas is about to leave office. he is on his way out the door. he is issuing a pardon to his own son for a drug offense from ten years ago. this is the kind of story that would be made up by anti-american state tv in some country that hates us. oh, you want democracy? look at how it works in america. that really is the true news out of arkansas today. >> you may have seen headlines today about a tiger being loose. you see the headlines and you think oh, i didn't know that
it must have come from the park des feline. no, turns out they're not missing any of their tigers. they're all present and accounted for. then, you read a few more paragraphs into the story and it turns out, oh, there was a circus in town. the tiger must have come from the circus. was it your tiger circus? must have been from the circus that was in the area. except for no, the circus also says they have not lost a tiger. soo french police have been hoping to find this 150 pound tiger on the loose in the country side. should be kind of a normal, whacky, lost wildlife story. but because it's today's news, it has to be completely inexplicable. there's no conceivable place
this tiger could have come from. everything today is, like, seriously? except for washington today. in washington, everything is going just as expected. this is who the republicans picked. the republicans did decide to go for it in terms of diversity this year. they also decided to pick two other white guys named rich and roy. the democrats picked their team, too. harry reid, dick derbin, chuck schumer, they were all there
before. but the last two, those are new faces. the thing to know is that she enjoys this very rare status. i have never met anybody in the world of politics, right, left or center, i've yet to meet anybody in this entire business who does not have a favorable opinion of amy klobashar. she's very, very popular in her state. she first won election to the senate in 2006 by a 20 point margin. she then won re-election six years later by a 35 point margin. her state, as well, in that year in 2012. but in minnesota, 2012, when amy
and barack obama were both on the same ball lot that year, amy out-performed obama by 27 points. same voters. look at those maps. so that is one reason why amy klovashar is an interesting choice for the democrats to add to their leadership in washington. if the democratic primary is going to be more on the wide open side and less just a coronation for hillary clinton, it's a dark horse candidate. >> a chance to get that lead ere ship job, amy has to replace somebody who already has that job.
it's not like the elizabeth warren job where the democrats just created a whole new leadership position so they would have something to give her. in klovashar's case, the job of the steering committee chair for the democratic party, that's her new job, before today, that was a job that had already been taken. the senator of alaska already has that job. and, yeah, if mark beg dprks ech isn't in the senate anymore, that's open for somebody else to take. but mark isn't conceding that he's going to be out of the senate. in alaska, with tens of thousands, the associated press has caused that race for mark baggich's's opponent. nbc news is calling dan sullivan the apparent winner. but he's not conceding. and he says he will not concede until all the remaining ball lots are, in fact, counted. and there are still tens of thousands of them. so depending on what happens
with that alaska senate seat and that mary lantern has runoff in louisiana, republicans will control the senate in january starting with somewhere between 52 and 54 seats. it's comfortable control in the senate. and they've got a really big margin in the house. but because of the way things are now, the same party sitting pretty comfortably in controlling both houses of congress, that apparently does not mean that we're not going to have a government shutdown anyway. the paper reporting that the obama white house has teed up the president's long-awaited executive action on immigration. and, as early as an ex week, president obama will announce that he will change the enforcement priorities for homeland security and immigration officials to
basically allow 5 million people who are in this country without proper documentation, to come forward, make themselves known to authorities, pay a fine, pass a background check. if they do all of those things, they can qualify, for, essentially, a temporary promise that they will not be deported. so it's not a change to the law. it's not a permanent fix. it's essentially a reprieve hoping to buy time until the system can be fixed until the president can do legally on his own without congress acting to change the law. >> it's law. it's less than what they say the white house has been hinting at for months now. >> just waiting for the day to use it. but that's sort of what it's been like to watch the
conservative media today. oh, my god, today, their new word was explosion. look. it's like the republicans in the focus group about how to talk about president obama now and the take away from the focus group was it really should have something to do with fire. when you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. and he's going to burp himself. the president is just throwing a barrel of gasoline on a fire. in our mind, a nuclear threat.
>> surely the president understands the kind of explosion that would occur up here if he takes that unilateral action. >> once there is a fire, turns out the only water that can put that out is a little word that starts with i and ends with mpeachment. >> there is going to be a fire storm on capitol hill. >> a possible impeachment of the president for what many would consider lawless actions if he goes too far. the president failing to come ply with his oath. that's the constitutional remedy for presidential behavior this wide of the mark. >> some suggested he goes too far. he should be impeached.
how big would the action have to be. what would he have to do to make it an impeachable offense? is president obama trying to bait the republicans into impeaching him. already, there's pressure on them not to impeach. if the american people think he is behaving lawlessly, what should they do? >> that would be bring the country to a tipping point. >> so in conservative media, they want to impeach for taking executive action on immigration. the last time there were lots of loud calls in republican politics the way republicans tried to make those calls go away was to instead file a lawsuit against president obama. nay they ever actually did, but
they said they would. if you don't like threatening to sue the president, it does seem like they're planning on shutting down the government, again. that slr conservative district that includes more than 50 members of congress right now, in which they're promising they will not allow congress to pass the basic legislation that keeps the lights on, they not let that legislation pass. so either block the president from doing this or shut the
government down. >> all days after the election before we put the next government shutdown on the map. the government is currently funded through december 11th. after that, who knows? fiery adjective. so none of these are surprising developments in washington, right? president obama has been saying for months that they were going to lose their mind if and when that happened, both of those seem to be coming to pass. the question now is, seriously, where is that tiger from? sorry, the question now is what's going to happen?
and, inevitably, the republicans are going to lose their mind. is the white house going to do something that, in substantive terms, is going to be big enough to be worth it? is the president about to do something that is going to make a real difference. is he going to do something that's going to make a real difference? and how can we help? joining us now is allen gomez. mr. gomez, thanks very much for being here. it's nice to have you here. >> thanks for having me. >> if president obama moves forward with action on immigration via an executive order as early as next week, that's the reporting from what the new york times and fox news in the last day or so, what do you think we should expect in terms of scope of his actions?
>> well, i believe they think they can go very, very far. and, understand, this is pretty much they're viewing this as an extension from what they did a couple years ago where they protected close to 600,000 young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. and in their view, they're allowed to pick who they're going to focus their immigration enforcementment on. and, so by doing this, so they think what they can do now is extechbd that to one, two, three, four, million people. so long as they don't say we're not going to deport anybody, they think they can protect certain group of the undocumented population. so they've been pushed to prevent -- to stop all of the deportation completely. they don't think they can do that. so what they're looking at is a group of about 3.5 million. maybe 4.5 million.
it sound like that's kind of the ballpark. >> is there's so much news on the way that republicans are freaking out about this on the other side of it, they're pushing to do something to go as big as they can. what reactions are we seeing? >> it sounds like what they're really looking at is the parents of the people who are u.s. sit soechbs. but those parents who got protected a couple years ago, that he wo they wouldn't be included in that. the way that the senate approached which group of undocumented immigrants that protect when they passed their bill last year, had nothing to do with who you're related to. it had something to do with you're in the country. so it doesn't look like they're considering that group of people right now. so, yeah, they're absolutely going to be pushing for him to go further and further. so now that we've heard about
this, yeah, there's going to be protest tomorrow saying it needs to go a heck of a lot further. >> it's amazing, before there's any announcement, there's planned impeachment. just a sign of how hot this issue is. thanks for being here. appreciate it. >> thank. >> we've got lots more to come tonight, including some astonishing new details about the secret service stay with us. ever since darryl's wife started using gain flings, their laundry smells
he used 3 million dlarsz of his own money to elect a judge to the supreme court in a hope that that judge would rule in his favor in a case there. four years later, mr. blankenship shared lunches and did i believers on the french rerks iveria where his company had another case pending in that same court. a news reporter tried to ask mr. blankenship a question about that, it did not go well. that's what it looked like in 20089. this is what it looked like to work for him. you need to get focused. do you understand?
>> and, inside the lines, rords show that his operations had hundreds and hundreds and hundred dollar dreads of safety violations. still, though, mr. blankenship prided himts on mine safety. he said it was his most important job. >> as someone who's seen more coal mining than anyone else, i know that the safety and health of coal miners is my most important job. i don't need washington politicians to tell me that. and neither do you. i also know that washington state officials have no idea how to improve miner safety. >> that was september, 2009. a man called the upper big branch. it was the worst mining disaster
in almost 40 years. families waited days. >> on a beautiful spring day and under state trooper salute, the remains of 22 miners were carried out of big branch mine today. overnight, the death toll declined. >> we did not receive the miracle we prayed for. we've accounted for four miners that had been unaccounted for. no one was inside. rescuers had walk passed the bodies of the missing four miners.
>> so this journey has ended. and now the healing will start. >> the death toll eventually rose to 29. 29 people killed. almost immediately after that explosion, people started asking questions. don blankenship denied any responsibility for that. he told the senate committee that putting profits before safety is just something he would never do. let me state for the record, massey does not put profits over safety. never have and never will. i have made safety the number
one priority. >> since the disaster, there have been four convictions related to that disaster. a security chief, a mine supersben dent. he announced his retirement from working at massey aener jill after three decades. for a while, it seemed like another west virginia coal mining tour. abds then a few middlemanagemented types went to pliz for how that mine had been run. late today, federal prosecutors unsealed a four-count diemt. they alleged health department standards at that mine starting in 2008, more than two years before the explosion, saying blankenship knew that the mine was creating safety violations every year. yet, he fostered and participated in routine safety
violations in order to produce more coal and to avoid the costs of following safety laws and make more money. that is the criminal allegation here. he says he will fight these charges and he will be akwited. that is the news today about the one-time king of coal in west virginia. if convicted, he will go to prison for 31 years.
last night, we detailed the start of her clean efforts. today, roughly 23 hours into what he's doing, frankly, we want to make sure that he's still alive. he is. that's live. al roker is 24 hours into the record of the longest stretch of time spent weather forecasting. and although there were moments today when it seemed he was about to keel over, as you can see, he's alive. doesn't he look great? but he's alive. i hereby prove to you that he lives. he has 10 1/2 hours to go.
believe. the man that is now president, barack obama, was an illinois state senator. he was elected in 1996 of when he was only 36 years old at the time. but when you go to work in the illinois state senate, this is where you work. this is the senate chamber. it's beautiful, right? beautiful, historical building. and as you can see, the desks are arranged in a radial pattern. concentric circles. as such, some of the seats for the senators are linked together. there are aisles, but the senators desks are clumped together in little 2s and 3s and 4s. when barack obama became a brand new freshman senator, he was given an assigned seat and his seat mate, at his little
conjoined desk in the senate state chamber was this senator. her name was penny sovereigns. yes, barack obama was an impressive politician right from the beginning. but this senator who became barack obama's mentor, she is also a bit of a shooting star. penny had been elected to the senate even younger than barack obama had been. she was 34 when she was elected to the senate. when she was only 20 years old, she had been e legislated to be a dell gat at the national convention. ever to have been elected a national convention delegate. she ran for congress in 1980. she wan a city council seat there after. she then ran for the senate. penny ran for the senate against a ten-year, republican incumbent who's not seen as endangered at all. he was a member of the leadership and e and everything. but she beat him. see the sign there?
hello, penny. good-bye jim. in 1994, illinois democrats decided that for the first time in the history of the democratic party, or the republican party in any state in the country, they would run an all female ticket for governor and lieutenant governor. now, in 1994, you might remember, was a bad year for democrats coast-to-coast. penny was lunt governor candidate on that historic ticket. she disclosed during the campaign that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. but she stayed on the ticket. she campaigned hard. in 1997, she was e she was re-elected. this is a photoof he being re-elected. in 1998, she ran for secretary of state. but she did not make it. she died. she died at home. her twin sister had survived breast cancer, at that point, her younger sister had died from breast cancer. and in 1998, penny died from breast cancer, as well. she was only 46 years old.
what freshman senators say you do got have to be a state house veteran to appreciate severance. >> she took me immediately under her wing when i came down and gave me all kinds of terrific advice and tips. she's be sorely missed. >> since penny died, her name and legacy have loomed really large. the chicago sun times wrote more recently about how current secretary of state keeps a photo of her in his office. the portion of interstate 72 that runs between springfield, the state capitol and her home district in decatur illinois is named for penny. the public health department maintained something called the penny sovereigns research fupd, the illinois state library maintains the penny sovereigns family lit ra sill program. the city where she represented is in may con county, illinois.
they've known its scandal over the years. illinois politics are not a fairy tale. you can see it more than in any singing place. but in macon county, illinois, there is an award that's givener year to a public official who has done the right thing when it was hard to do the right thing. that award is the integrity award. her legacy still looms really large in that state. and it's not because of her role in barack obama's political life, right in the start of his political career, his first year in elected office, it else e it's not because of that. had breast cancer not killed her in her mid 40s, who knows where she would have ended up by now. but the thing to know now is what was never known about her in her whole career, in her whole life. last november, 15 years after
penny died, illinois moved a mar anxious bill. it was introduced by a state rep named anne williams. and in introducing that marriage bill in illinois in november, anne williams broke some news. >> one of the greatest love stories i have ever heard played out right here under our beautiful dome. but it was a secret. why? because it happened over 20 years ago involved a state senator, the late penny sutterns and one of my dearest friends, a woman named terry muchler at the time, an a.p. reporter here at the capital. penny served at the senate from 1986 until her tragic and untimely death from breast cancer in 1998. for much of that time, there were no openly gay members.
>> senator penny, barack obama's mentor in his first year in public office in the state senate in illinois, she only died in 1998. . she's not that long ago. but everyone in 1998, when she considered her marriage was a secret to everybody. and then the story eventually could be told. terry is a lawyer. she's a former journalist and -- >> thank you. it's a pleasure to be here. it. >> it feels like i'm talking about you in the room. but this is a very personal thing.
given how big she looms in illinois politics. why is that? >> penny and i when we fell in love in 1993, i was a journalist and she was a senator and we embarked on a very complicated, hidden marriage. . .throughout all of those years, even though we attempted to kind of come out of the closet at various points to our families, we never made it there because of penny's health. in fact, the thanksgiving before she died, we were on our way to indiana to talk to my sister and her husband and reveal our relationship. and then we were going to reveal it to penny's brother, rod and his wife, jane. but penny had the last round of four diagnoses of cancer. she had a tumor in her skull and tree months later she died and we never made it to that juncture.
>> she was so well-loved, had she been able to come out for all the person reasons, that she would have been embraced. she wouldn't have been kmiting political suicide. >> i think people loved penny for a couple of reasons. she put them first. she put her family second and herself last. you can't fake that kind of integrity. so she gave people 24/7 access. >> however, at the time of our relationship, you had a lot going on in central illinois. you had testify before the senate and penny had come home
to tell me that fellow senators were making fun of the dead sailor. even in the news room at the time. you know, people were basically saying, oh, you know, the guy should have known better. and so, e did not believe that if we did not come out at that time, that penny would have retained at that moment. you would have had a group of people that said yes, we want penny to be in that seat. but i'm not sure that decatur would have been ready. >> and you never know what happens until it happens. >> you're in this >> you're in this incredibly ethically compromised position, because you're sleeping with your source. so you're the ap state house chief. and that's a compromising position. >> completely unforgivable.
>> and you're very open about that in the book and how that was the wrong thing to do. >> had this senator been a man, would you have dealt with that ethical conflict strictly by disclosing it? >> yes, i believe i would have. when i was in pennsylvania and dating a man on the speaker safs e staff, i went to the bureau chief and said i think this is going to be a serious relationship. ap said just don't cover the house. i covered the senate. but i could got bring myself to do that. for a whole host of reasons. penny around i at the very beginning, we are falling fast. so i believe i would have, but, you know, that's pretty easy to say, in hindsight. >> well, terry, author of under this beautiful dome, as i said, we don't really do book interviews, but i was clearly moved by this beautiful book and remarkable story. thanks for telling us e it. >> we'll be right back. stay with us. [ male announcer ] take zzzquil and sleep like...
troubling update for you about a man who jumped the fence the north lawn of the white house, ran across the lawn, ran inside an unlocked door at the white house and then ran through a significant portion of the building before he was finally tackled just outside the east room. turns out he had a knife in his
pocket the whole time. after that incident, the department of homeland security launched a review into what exactly happened. and in the days leading out of play that security breach, that review is now complete. members of congress were briefed on its findings today. and so naturally, tonight, the findings of the report were leaked to the press. based on the leaked portions of the report, we now know that the suspect in this case, omar gonzalez was was able to scale the white house fence so quickly and easily he did it in a spot these ornament spikes at the top of the fence were missing. there was an attack dog stationed on that north lawn on that day. the big mystery as to why that dog and officer didn't chase the intruder. we now notice the reason they didn't notice him making a run for it because the officer was actually sitting in his van and he wasn't listening to his two-way radio because he took his ear piece out of his ear. all the easier to conduct his personal cell phone call. he was on a personal phone call and not on his radio. the officer was supposed to have
another radio on him, but he left it in the locker that day. he only realized that omar gonzalez was on the white house lawn when he happened to notice another secret service officer chasing the man. another detail we now know is that omar gonzalez caught the secret service off-guard when he ran through a row of bushes outside the north portico door at the white house, quote, at the time of the incident, both emergency team response officers were surprised that he was able to get through those bushes prior to that evening, the officers believed the bushes were too thick to be passable. then there's this. for a significant amount of time while the incident was under way, the secret service officer who should have been directly involved in stopping the intruder, they could on the hear unintelligible noise on the radios because the radio systems were not working properly. because why would active duty secret service officers patrolling the white house grounds need working service radios? times are tight. right? tighten your belts. can't afford that.
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or liver problems. using invokana® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may increase risk of low blood sugar. it's time. lower your blood sugar with invokana®. imagine loving your numbers. ask your doctor about invokana®. programming note, the rachel maddow show will not be seen tomorrow night nor will our excellent friday night news dump game show so that we can bring you something instead that i'm very, very excited about and that frankly we worked for a really long time to make happen. you've no doubt seen some remarkable reporting from nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. the intrepid richard engel has been reporting on america's wars
in the middle east for more than a decade now. and the reporting that he does on a daily and nightly basis and the places that he goes to get the story frankly warrants its own 24-hour richard engel network, if i had my way. tomorrow night, he will have the run from this network. he's just returned from one of the most dangerous places on earth, the syrian city of kobani. they've been under assault from isis for months no uh. he was the first reporter to get into the city. and he brought back absolutely incredible reporting. we decided to ris act trip to the besieged city to see for ourselves. we crossed the no-man's land and entered kobani. what we sound was a city demolished but undefeated. isis controls no more than 50% of the kobani. and american air strikes are garage rulely reducing that area to rubble. they're not just standing their ground. they're smiling.
now you never enter a building through the front gate or the front door. she described a recent battle to take the building back from isis. she said there were about 40 isis fighters just in these rooms here. it's not just that they're fighting between buildings and across streets. but from room to room. this was real close quarter fighting. >> reporter: she shows us where the enemy is. not mar. >> richard engel is the first network correspondent to report from kobani. tomorrow at 9:00 eastern, richard is going to host an msnbc special on the u.s. battle against isis. richard engel live from the region with much more on that
reporting, as well as an exclusive interview with the former cia director michael hayden. so it's going to be incredible. i've seen a bunch of what he's sent back so far. it's amazing stuff. set your tv watching plans now. required viewing tomorrow night at 9:00. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. at 9:00. "first look" is up next. good morning, everybody, right now on "first look," it's an unusual weather phenomenon. thundersnow. take a listen. the relentless arctic invasion isn't going anywhere and a new cold outbreak begins on sunday. half a world away president obama readies for political battle at home on immigration, keystone pipeline and pollution. residents of ferguson, missouri are getting ready for the michael brown grand jury to issue a decision. plus rokerthon continues with a few hours to go. al roker tries to break a world record. good morning on this friday and thanks so much for joining us today. i'm betty